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Charlotte Russe is Up for Sale

Charlotte Russe said yesterday that it will “initiate the process” for selling the company, allowing the women's apparel retailer to enter into formal negotiations with potential buyers.

The San Diego company, which specializes in inexpensive apparel for young women, announced in January that it had hired financial adviser Cowen and Co. to explore strategic alternatives, including a possible sale.

Like most apparel companies, Charlotte Russe is faced with slipping sales in a deteriorating economy. It is also battling increased competition from rivals such as Forever 21 and H&M that offer imitation designer wear at low prices.

In recent months, key shareholders have pressured the company to find a buyer. In November, Charlotte Russe received a buyout offer from shareholder KarpReilly Capital Partners, which had offered to take the retailer private in a deal valued at about $198.6 million.

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